Even though former UCF coach Scott Frost has backed off the Knights’ claim of a national title for their undefeated 2017 season, the school continues to press forward with the claim.
On Tuesday, Alabama coach Nick Saban weighed in on the Knights’ claims, and he was quick to offer his praise to what UCF accomplished.
However, he told USA TODAY Sports that self-proclaiming a national title is disrespectful to the current Playoff system:
“If you honor and respect the system that we have, (despite) some of the imperfections that you understand that the system has, then you wouldn’t do something out of respect for the system that we have,” Saban told USA TODAY Sports. “I guess anybody has the prerogative to claim anything. But self-proclaimed is not the same as actually earning it. And there’s probably a significant number of people who don’t respect people who make self-proclaimed sort of accolades for themselves.”
Saban went on to offer more praise to the Knights, saying it’s not easy for any team to go through a long season without losing:
“We’ve only had one undefeated team, and that is really hard to do,” Saban said. “So I have a tremendous amount of respect for their team and what they were able to accomplish. … And they can make every claim that they should have been in the Playoff. I get that. But we have a system, and it’s not fair to the people who went through the system and earned their way playing really, really good teams — I mean really good teams — and really tough games. It’s not quite fair to them for somebody else just to decide to (claim a national championship).”
Alabama has the CFP trophy — the sixth title of Saban’s career and his fifth at Alabama — so the Tide aren’t exactly sweating the Knights’ claims. However, it’s clear Saban respects Frost and what he accomplished during his time at UCF.